What would Turkey Day be without cranberry sauce? After one taste of my easy cranberry sauce recipe, you’ll never buy the canned variety again! Juicy sweet-tart cranberries make the best accompaniment to turkey or chicken dinners and only takes minutes to make.
For years, all I knew was the Ocean Spray variety of this classic dish. The elegant way it slid out of the can, accompanied by that distinctive sound….sigh. Not I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it; the truth is it’s pretty tasty.
But once I started making cranberry sauce at home, I never bought the canned variety again. And although fresh cranberries aren’t available all year long, you can almost always find frozen cranberries.
If you are looking for another delicious side dish to serve with your poultry or turkey dinner, make sure to try my easy potato bread stuffing. Your family will love it!
Ingredients to make homemade cranberry sauce
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe. In Chef Speak, this is called the Mise en Place, which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
How do I make Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce?
Making cranberry sauce is one of the easiest dishes you’ll ever make. After you measure everything out, place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat a little and let the mixture continue cooking at a slow boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken as it simmers.
Let the mixture cool for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate overnight. It will become jellied when fully chilled. But don’t worry if it’s a little loose; you can always strain some of the extra liquid out.
How do I make Jellied Cranberry Sauce?
There is only one additional step to make the jellied version of this classic side dish.
- Pour the finished hot mixture into a fine-mesh strainer over a heat-proof bowl.
- Using a large spoon, mash the cranberries with the back of a spoon, frequently scraping the outside of the strainer until no pulp is left.
- Stir the mixture and pour the strained sauce into a smaller container. Allow to cool at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
Cranberry sauce isn’t just for turkey; it goes well with roast chicken and roast pork. Can you imagine the smiles at your table when you serve homemade cranberry sauce with dinner?
Store any leftover cranberry sauce refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
The basic recipe is typically made using fresh or frozen cranberries, sugar, and water. You can customize it by adding extras like orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or even a splash of liqueur, port, or brandy.
Making cranberry sauce is quick and usually takes around 10-15 minutes of cooking time. However, you’ll need to let it cool and possibly chill in the refrigerator before serving.
You can adjust the sweetness by adding more or less sugar to taste. Alternatively, you can use sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup. Just remember that cranberries are naturally tart, so a certain amount of sweetness is needed to balance the flavors.